Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteNorfolk Asylums


Link back to main ROSSBRET websiteNorfolk Asylums


The Retreat
There is a private Lunatic Asylum at Heigham, called "The Retreat", & conducted by Drs Wright, Dalrymple, & Crosse; & another at Heigham Hill belonging to Messrs W P Nichols & J W Watson.
Source: White Directory p132
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

The Norfolk and Norwich Magdalen
The Norfolk & Norwich Magdalen, on Life's Green, was established in 1827, & its object is to afford an asylum to females who, having deviated from the paths of virtue, may be desirous of being restored to their station in society, by religious instruction, & the formation of moral & industrious habits. The house has accommodations for 20 objects. Out of 260 admitted since its establishment, 128 had been restored to their friends, or placed in respectable situations, & 17 remained in the house, on the publication of the report for 1843. The expenses of the establishment amount to about £550 per annum. The Marquis Cholmondeley is president; the Rev J Perowne, chaplain; & Mrs M A Curtis, matron.
Source: White Directory p132
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Norfolk County Lunatic Asylum - Thorpe

The Norfolk County Lunatic Asylum stands a little south east of the village, 3 miles from Norwich. It is a spacious & handsome building of white brick, with stone quoins, erected in 1814, under an act of 48 Geo 111, for the better care & maintenance of lunatics, being paupers or criminals. It is 430 ft long, with a Grecian portico in the centre, supported by 4 columns.

The cost of the erection & the adjacent grounds was £40,000, paid out of the county rates. It was enlarged in 1842, at the cost of £2300. The stone staircase is particularly worthy of notice, from the lightness & strength of its construction. The apartments & galleries are well ventilated, & fitted up for upwards of 150, who are maintained at the average weekly cost of 5s.9+d per head for the pauper lunatics, & 10s for the boarders. The asylum is under the control of a committee of the county magistrates. W Warner M.D. is physician; Mr G W W Firth, surgeon; Mr Fras John Blake, clerk & treasurer; the Rev E Cole, chaplain; & Mr E & Mrs Owen, governor & matron.
Source: White Directory 1845 - p 690
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

The Norfolk Lunatic Asylum
The Norfolk Lunatic Asylum is about 2 miles from Norwich, in the parish of Thorpe.
Source: White Directory
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Norwich - Lunatic Asylum - competition.
Some months ago the corporation of Norwich invited Mr.Brown, of that city, and Mr.R.M.Phipson, to submit designs for the proposed New Lunatic Asylum, and these gentelemen accordingly did so. After some discussion the council referred the plans to Dr Robertson of the Sussex, and Dr.Campbell of the Essex Lunatic Asylum, in the state in which they were received by the committee, and each of these gentlemen was asked to give his independent opinion as to which set of plans would be the best calculated to meet the views which the council had in erecting the Borough Asylum of this city. Both these gentlemen reported strongly in favour of Mr.Phipson's plans, and at a meeting held on the 31st ult, the town council adopted them. The reasons given by Dr Robertson as those on which he grounds his preference are suggestive, and may be useful to other designers.

1st Mr.Phipson's plan in its general features and design is original in conception, and an advance on the present standard of asylum architecture in the direction in which the medical superintendents of asylums have long pointed. viz. :-

A - The means of classification and distribution of the patients is complete.
B - The day-rooms are all on the ground-floor; it greatly facilitates the working of the house. 
C - There are no complicated dark corridors to intercept ventilation.
D - The access to the wards from the centre block is simple and ready.
E - The through ventilation of the wards by natural means is insured.
F - The arrangements for the wards, offices, w.c's etc., are of the best construction.

2nd The general distribution of the buildings specially commends itself to my approval, and stands in marked contrast to the ill-designed crowding of the different buildings in Mr.Brown's plan. The division into administration block, wards, dining-hall, laundry, workshops,(with accommodation at the two latter for working patients) is very complete, and a clever application of the pavilion system to the works of an asylum. 

3rd Above all, these arrangements of Mr.Phipson's commend themselves by the great facility which they offer for convenient and economical extension of the building, should such want arise (as in all asylums it has done).
Source: The Builder 1868 Vol XXVI 7th November 1868
Submitted by Alan Longbottom

Bethel Hospital 

Occupies a commodious building in Bethel St, was erected in 1713, by Mrs Mary Chapman, agreeably to the request of her late husband, the Rev S Chapman, rector of Thorpe next Norwich, for the habitation of poor lunatics, & not for natural born fools or idiots. For its endowment, she settled, by will dated 1717, all her personal estate on 7 trustees, giving to them the sole power & management of this asylum for as many distressed lunatics as the revenues will afford, the city of Norwich always to have the preference. Considerable additions having been made to the hospital in 1807, & subsequent years, it has now accommodations for 70 patients, of whom about 35 are free, & small weekly sums, varying from 3s. to 8s. are paid for each of the others by their friends or parishes.

The 7 trustees are, A Hudson, W Foster, J J Gurney, T Hudson, S Martin, C Weston & W Unthank esqs. Dr Wright is physician; Mr W P Nichols, the surgeon; & Mr S King, the master. [for details of endowments etc see White's 1845 Directory of Norfolk]
Source: White Directory P 131:
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Belle Vue Asylum, Ipswich
Pleasantly situated on the Woodbridge Rd, is a
private establishment, for the reception of persons afflicted with insanity. It was commenced in 1835, by its present proprietor, Mr James Shaw, surgeon, & has accommodations for 40 patients. 
Source: White Directory 1844 - p 84
Submitted by Betty Longbottom

Page updated March 12, 2008 by Rossbret